Forthcoming Services at St.Matthew's

 Date  

 Service  

 Time

Sun 7th June All-Age Communion * 11.00am
Sun 14th June Common Worship Communion including Baptism* 11.00am
Sun 21st June
St John the Baptist Patronal Festival
Combined Service of Common Worship Communion at St John the Baptist, Smalley 10.00am
Sun 28th June Common Worship Communion * 11.00am
Sun 5th July All-Age Communion * 11.00am

Children's Church is always available at the 11.00 am service at Morley and at Smalley on the first Sunday of the month

Events coming soon

JAZZ EVENING - With Wine & Cheese

Saturday 25th July 2015

Thought for the Month

RETIREMENT & AGEING

I never accepted an invitation to go on a pre-retirement course; I'd always counted myself too young or too busy. Then last summer I retired. What have I learned?

I've learned some implications for our pastoral care of the ageing:

  • Ageing is a journey which includes a spiritual dimension.
  • Spirituality may or may not have anything to do with religion.
  • The spiritual dimension focuses on the meaning of life, hope and purpose, explored through relationships with others, with the natural world and with the transcendent.
  • Evidence suggests that the genuine accompaniment of people on their ageing journey, giving time and listening, is the core of good spiritual practice as well as practical care and support.
  • Reminiscence, life story, meaningful rituals as well as creative activities all help the process of coming to terms with, and even enjoying, ageing and change.

There is plenty about old people in the Old Testament but very little in the New. Old Testament stories don't see in the ageing just decline, diminishment and death; their stories and metaphors are very important and are respectful of old age (and the wisdom which may, or may not, have been picked up on the way). With more time to travel or read or watch TV or just reminisce we may get the chance to nurture wonder - just as our primary school teachers tried to nurture wonder in us when we were five rather than 75. Can we even accept the challenge of believing that the best may be yet to come - even to the point of surrendering to God in worship?

Ageing is not an engineering process to be solved with exercise and machines - however helpful gadgets and aids may be - because we're all mortal, but years to be lived morally and spiritually. If we are given increased longevity, we need to ask (and answer) "What is it for?" The question "How ought we to grow old?" is a very significant one for today's society. And how do we give a voice to the things that matter in old age? And who will listen to us? What is the point of being old and having more old people? I'm gradually finding out. But my Christian faith teaches me already that an increasingly helpless old person is just as valuable to God as a hard-working successful person in his or her prime.

The Very Revd Geoffrey Marshall